Walnut & Poplar Box with Copper - all reclaimed / salvaged materials

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Project by palaswood posted 10-27-2014 05:31 PM 4404 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This here is my main contribution to the 2014 Box Swap and it went to Clieb91. I also made another little box that went to his little girl, but I’ll post that as another project.

All materials in this box are reclaimed or salvaged. The box is made of black walnut and poplar, finished with Boiled Linseed Oil. The lid was resawed by hand (Disston) & jointed with the hand planes (Stanley) then glued up.

The dadoes were done in a few cuts with the just the blade on the table saw. The miters on the chop saw. Bottom of the box is also reclaimed 1/4” poplar.

The copper accents are a new twist for me. I cut them to shape with my snips and then used a ballpeen hammer to pound a nice texture into the copper while in the vise. I then marked and drilled holes, epoxied them onto the box & epoxied in thick copper wire. Then I peened the copper wire & polished it all up.

Hinges are brass and mortised in. Box is lined with suede to give it that great leather smell.

FIRSTS: First full size box (about 10×5 but never actually measured it), First mortised hinges, first time using copper accents, first time using walnut as the main wood in flat work (OMG its awesome).

I learned a ton and had a great time building it.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

16 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3652 days

#1 posted 10-27-2014 06:16 PM

Now that’s pretty cool. Most would see that poplar and call it a defect, but you made it into a feature instead, and it worked brilliantly. The copper work and suede are also classy.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26479 posts in 4272 days

#2 posted 10-27-2014 06:56 PM

Very neat work, Joseph!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TerryDowning's profile


1152 posts in 3284 days

#3 posted 10-27-2014 07:32 PM

Really nice Joseph. Well done.

-- - Terry

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3970 days

#4 posted 10-27-2014 07:33 PM

Nice box. Nice book match. Nice “box-bling” on the corners.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Northwest29's profile


1710 posts in 3657 days

#5 posted 10-27-2014 11:41 PM

Love the old world look of the hammered copper.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View hookfoot's profile


400 posts in 3116 days

#6 posted 10-27-2014 11:57 PM

Love the result of thinking outside of the box. Very nice.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3857 days

#7 posted 10-27-2014 11:57 PM

Very nice. Love the book matched poplar top!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jeffswildwood's profile


4929 posts in 3144 days

#8 posted 10-28-2014 12:02 AM

Another beautiful box from the box swap. Guess I’m not the only one that used poplar. I really like the style and copper accents. Very original!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Duckster's profile


439 posts in 2517 days

#9 posted 10-28-2014 12:49 AM

Great looking box. Some Aspen is really good looking wood. You found some of it. Great job!!

-- Duckster, Texas. {Any day of fishing, Beats a good day at work.} Wash your feet and love Jesus

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 3314 days

#10 posted 10-28-2014 02:58 AM

Nice piece!

View gridlockd's profile


158 posts in 3551 days

#11 posted 10-28-2014 03:01 PM

wow! love the copper accents and the suede interior! I might have to borrow those ideas. great box!

-- Gridlockd

View Boxguy's profile


2898 posts in 3434 days

#12 posted 10-29-2014 04:55 AM

Joseph, nicely done. I like the copper idea it gives the box some real character. There are a lot of first in this box. Looks like you are well on your way to mastering box building techniques. Speaking of which, you might try making and using band clamps on your boxes during glue ups. Try this technique for making cheap and effective band clamps. There are other techniques demonstrated in the index of this posting. Nice work on this box I like your sense of design. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3575 days

#13 posted 10-29-2014 12:57 PM

This is a Homerun on several different levels. Just a fantastic piece of work. Nice craftsmanship and artistry.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2918 days

#14 posted 10-29-2014 05:55 PM

Wow thanks guys. I’m excited to keep moving forward. I feel I turned a corner where the box I see in my mind is more closely resembling the box I’m able to craft in the physical world. Basically my skills are catching up and now I’m really stoked to push the envelope creatively.

Thanks for the feedback guys, its very motivating. BTW, I just picked up 3 HF ratcheting band clamps for $6 each and the 249 piece rotary bit set for $20 so I can begin my foray into power carving some of these boxes & turned objects. I used to do some clay and plaster carving, so it will be fun to see what I can do in wood.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View saproc's profile


80 posts in 3407 days

#15 posted 11-13-2014 08:27 PM

Very nice box. Don’t you think salvaged wood is the best for character

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